Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Only 88 homes built in Thurrock last year

EXCLUSIVE

IT WAS a statistic that halted the planning inquiry at Thurrock Council’s civic offices into the building of 350 homes in Butts Lane, Stanford-le-Hope in its tracks.

But it is one that confirmed many people’s fears about the recession.

Sometimes, you drive around the borough and see a number of developments. You go to planning meetings where there is a plethora of applications for building.

But at the back of your mind, you do think: “Is anyone actually building anything here?”

And when you ask people to estimate how many houses were built in Thurrock between 2009-10 (financial year) estimates from builders to members of the public has been between 1,000 and 3,000.

However, at the four day inquiry, the representative of Barratts Housing, asked Thurrock Council’s senior planning officer, Paul Clarke to read out the figures for completed homes in the borough.

Mr Clarke said: “In 2009-2010, there were 88 homes completed. In 2010-2011, there were 290.”

Mr Clarke could not give a figure for how many had been completed since April of this year.

Mr Lowe asked Mr Clarke if he felt that there was an urgent need for housebuilding such as the Butts Lane development in the borough as the shortfall was now approaching the 4,000 mark.

He said: “Housing development in Thurrock is in freefall. You had a core strategy that was rejected as not fit for purpose and you sit here objecting to a development that can provide 350 new homes for the borough.”

The results of the inquiry are expected later next month.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Just a couple of points of interest.
    1 The core strategy has not been rejected as not fit for purpose; it is still being examined by a government inspector.
    2 Thurrock Council only have planning control on developments under 50 houses. Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation have had control of all large Planning Applications since 2005, coincidently the same time that the number of houses being built in Thurrock started to go “into freefall”
    Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s remit, as identified in their brief when they were established, was to identify and bring into use land for building. With all their resources and additional government funding they have failed to do this. What is just as worrying is that they have projected an undersupply of housing against targets in the next 5 years, something they are also responsible for.
    Whilst residents may not want to see these houses built they have to be to conform to government objectives. The problem with TTGDC not fulfilling their objectives by regenerating Brownfield sites the lack of planned housing enables developers to apply to build on Greenbelt Land using this undersupply of housing as a Very Special Circumstance. So when we start losing our Greenbelt you know who REALLY is to blame!!

  2. It was obvious that the idea of the last Labour government was to create agencies which would give planning permission to developers wanting to build developments. The only reason why so many houses were/are needed is due to Labours lax immigration policy – whether they would admit it is another story. This has meant that the population has jumped substantially fast over the past decade so we are now playing catch up in terms of developing our services/amenities etc to cater for everyone. There is nothing wrong with building houses, especially on brownfield land, in fact it makes areas much better for it providing the infrastructure is in place to cope with new residents. Thurrock is in a very strategic location which naturally attracts developers but building 350 homes on the greenbelt in Stanford, 300 homes in Woodside, Little Thurrock or building on greenbelt near Aveley is not what the TTGDC should be passing.

    Planning should have been left to the council as it had been. Thurrock Council need to reevaluate where they think houses should be built when they gain control of planning again next year as I am sure they have more sense than the DC.

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